The best punch trackers on the market
2nd January 2021
By: Michael Frank
Golden Boy Promotions and Oscar De La Hoya have added another rising prospect from Dallas, Texas to their team.
Super bantamweight Hector Valdez Jr. has begun his professional career at 13-0 with 8 KO’s. At 25-years-old the orthodox-style fighter has a lot of big names in his corner, including well-known trainer Robert Garcia, established matchmaker Robert Diaz and advisor/mentor Vergil Ortiz Sr.
It was Ortiz Sr. who introduced Valdez to both Garcia and Golden Boy. In February of 2020, Valdez Jr. was flown to California to sign his contract, where “Oscar De La Hoya actually looked me (Valdez Jr.) right in the eyes, and at that moment I knew it was a perfect fit. A dream come true.”
After a strong amateur career, Valdez made his professional debut in 2014. His first three fights resulted in first round TKO’s, followed by his first KO victory against Antonio Gutierrez. Next up was his first pro fight outside of Texas, and again Valdez earned a TKO victory in the 2nd round. This was the first fight that stuck out to the young fighter, who said “it was really the first punch that I felt, those 8 oz gloves make a difference”. If you’re keeping track at home, it took five professional fights for an opponent to land a significant punch against the 5’6” prospect.
Valdez prides himself on his boxing ability, using a good variance of combinations and savvy defense. He isn’t known for his power punching, but he does consider himself a banger in the ring. He acknowledges this by saying “if i had to describe a weakness, I would say I like to bang too much. My coaches want me to punch and move.”
A prime example of Valdez going toe-to-toe came in his last fight against Josue Morales. Here we saw a true slugfest in the last 10 seconds of the 8 round bout. He was easily winning on the scorecards and decided to let his hands go to finish off the fight. That fight was on the undercard of good friend and superstar Vergil Ortiz Jr. Valdez scored the unanimous decision and kept his perfect professional record intact.
After both baseball and soccer didn’t strike his interest as a kid, Valdez found his love for boxing almost on accident. His father brought him to a job site where he was remodeling a boxing gym, while waiting for his father, Hector became envious of the kids in the gym. On the way home he asked his father if he could start boxing. Reluctantly, his parents said yes and the rest is history. Hector is still friends with some of the kids from the gym, including professional bantamweight fighter Oscar Mojica.
Growing up Valdez idolized fellow Mexican boxers; Juan Marquez, Erik Morales and new promoter Oscar De La Hoya. Like most boxers, he wants to create his own style inside the ring and not be compared to other fighters. But one statement that really highlighted his maturity involved legend Manny Pacquiao, who is known for his involvement in the church, politics, and charities across the Philippines. Valdez emphasized “outside of boxing I want to be like Pac- Man, I want to give back to my community.” For a 25-year-old to have the will to better his community with the money he earns is extremely impressive.
Early in his professional career, Valdez received a check of $1 for one of his fights, strictly because professional boxers have to be paid per fight. He still has that check today as a daily reminder of where he started. Now, six years into his career and earning his major promotional contract, he splits his training camp between Dallas and California. In his hometown of Dallas, he is trained by Hector Beltran and Carlos Martinez. The other half of his time is spent in Riverside with Robert Garcia at RGBA.
Valdez is no stranger to other legitimate fighters. On top of sparring with lifelong friend Vergil Ortiz Jr., he often works with title contenders Hector Tanajara Jr., Joshua Franco and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez. At the beginning of his career, he was managed by Vergil Ortiz Sr., and has since signed with Jason Fowler and Elite Sports and Entertainment Management Group, (ESEMG).
Outside the ring, Valdez is a mature, humble and hardworking man. He currently lives at his family’s ranch in Kent, Texas. He commutes to Oak Cliff everyday for work, where he owns his own garage called Chores Auto. On top of the ranch and garage life, Valdez impressively makes it to the gym everyday. His hard work and dedication will take him far as a boxer while his commitment to getting better each day will make him a better overall man.
I spoke with Robert Diaz (VP/ Matchmaker for Golden Boy Promotions) and he expects a very busy 2021 for Valdez. Diaz “would love to see him get in a fight or two to dust off the rust, and then finish off the year with his first 10-round bout.” With Diaz on his side, his skill set and record should be intriguing to other fighters. Diaz had nothing but great things to say about the young prospect, “very fun and exciting young fighter. good defense, but also strong and aggressive in the ring.” Golden Boy likes to be aggressive with their fighters, and Valdez seems to be in prime position to quickly make a name for himself.
Valdez will continue to learn and improve with the aide of Robert Garcia and Hector Beltran on his quest to become a world champion. Beltran is the day-to-day trainer, working with Valdez locally and traveling wherever the fights land.
Valdez Jr. will continue to prove his dedication in and outside of the ring while looking to climb the ladder in the super bantamweight division. Golden Boy has added another horse to its stable who can quickly become a superstar. Fans should be on high alert for the speedy and precise Valdez Jr.
• Valdez Jr. eats a lollipop before every fight for a boost in energy, and has one ready at the end of the fight for the announcement.
• His dream venue is AT&T Stadium in Arlington, in front of his home crowd.